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Are We There Yet – Cakes on the Griddle in Pancake Bay, Ontario

Pancake Bay was the end of a long journey of 17th century Voyageurs, French Canadian fur transporters who spent their lives paddling, portaging and lugging pelts from the wilderness interior to trading posts. And why is it called Pancake Bay? Because by the time the Voyageurs got there, all they had left to eat was flour.

Today, in Batchawana Bay along Highway 17, you can get pancakes and more (a lot more) at the Voyageur’s Lodge & Cookhouse, a seasonal motel, restaurant and gift store designed in the log cabin spirit of the voyageurs. If you’re lucky enough to arrive on bus tour day, owner Frank O’Connor creates a historic re-enactment in character near the functioning 30-foot canoe.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park is minutes from Voyageur’s Lodge & Cookhouse along Highway 17, about 45-minutes from Sault St. Marie, Ontario. A long drive, granted. But Lake Superior Group of Seven views, Agawa Rock Pictographs and less crowded campgrounds make this area a bucket list destination.

And Parks Ontario yurts make family camping easier.

Many Ontario Parks, including Pancake Bay, have yurts: canvas enclosures containing bunk beds, heaters, lights, an outdoor porch with chairs and barbeques. Waterproof and more comfortable than tents, booking a yurt saves a family from packing (and setting-up) shelters.

Pancake Bay has four yurts on one side of the park, and two near the beach (including a dog-friendly zone). Also on site is a kids’ play area, and several comfort stations offering hot showers and flush toilets. If overnight camping isn’t for you, you can always get a room – some with kitchenettes – at the Voyageurs Lodge & Cookhouse and wake up to ready-made griddle cakes. www.ontarioparks.com

Sherri Telenko is a freelance writer and blogger living in Southern Ontario. Sign up for travel ideas at www.dogtrotting.net or follow her on twitter @SherriTelenko.


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